Live updates from the Biden-Putin summit: latest news on talks in Ukraine

Ukrainian forces are patrolling near the front line on Wednesday. Credit… Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times With the large bu...


Credit…Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times

With the large build-up of Russian troops at Ukraine’s borders, the White House, NATO and European leaders have struggled to project a united front to deter the Kremlin and convince Russian President Vladimir V. Putin that he is There would be a heavy price to pay in the event of war.

On the eve of his virtual summit with Mr. Putin, President Biden met with Allied leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson .

“The leaders discussed their common concern over the strengthening of the Russian military on the borders of Ukraine and the increasingly harsh rhetoric from Russia,” according to to a reading of the White House. They called on Russia to defuse tensions, the statement said, and agreed that diplomacy was the only way forward.

Even as leaders have issued assurances of solidarity, many European officials fear that Mr Putin will respond to the pressures by cutting Europe’s gas supplies as winter approaches.

The crisis also comes as Germany changes direction and France faces elections, creating a changing landscape that the White House fears the Kremlin will set out to exploit.

At the Pentagon on Monday, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III summoned senior military and civilian officials, including General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Tod D. Wolters, the head of the army European Command, to discuss the constitution of Russian troops.

Officials said an effort was underway to send additional defensive weapons, including anti-tank javelins, to Ukraine, but that they could be held in position outside the country to avoid giving Mr Putin a pretext for military action.

Some NATO country officials advised against such a move, suggesting it wouldn’t make much of a difference in the outcome if an invasion were to happen and could provoke Mr Putin, rather than deter him.

Given the risks involved, some analysts, such as Dmitri V. Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, argue that Mr. Putin is looking for diplomatic leverage and that the main objective of his troop building is not to conquer Ukraine but to get a satisfactory answer. the United States.

“Putin is clearly frustrated at being ignored by Washington,” Mr. Trenin said. He noted that Mr. Putin’s previous formation of troops near Ukraine had secured him a summit meeting with Mr. Biden in June. “This time, it will bring Biden to a dialogue on Ukraine and other security issues in Europe.”

But Mr Trenin said the use of force could not be ruled out.

John F. Kirby, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, declined to say whether the United States still has a small number of military advisers in Ukraine or whether the administration has decided to send additional military assistance there.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov warned that “a major war in Ukraine would plunge the whole of Europe into crisis”.

In an open letter to the Atlantic Council, he said that among other major concerns for European society, a war could result in “between three and five million Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian invasion” and could seriously disrupt imports of food, including grain, ” creating a whole host of food security problems. for the whole continent.

“Russia’s attack would also mark the final end of the rules-based international order, opening the door to a new era of global insecurity that would threaten decades of unprecedented peace across much of Europe.” , he wrote.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Live updates from the Biden-Putin summit: latest news on talks in Ukraine
Live updates from the Biden-Putin summit: latest news on talks in Ukraine
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